Skip to Main Content

SAN DIEGO — The real world’s a messy place, but there’s a lot you can learn out there.

If you want to be confident a treatment works, your best bet remains a randomized control trial. But such studies are often picky about the participants they’ll enroll. And these trials generally focus on just a few clinical measurements taken at a handful of time points.


There’s a growing push, however, to look at more data, in more people, more often. So-called real-world data can come from all sorts of places, from a doctor’s notes to insurance claims to wearable devices and social media posts. By mining this information, researchers believe they can better track how well new medicines work, personalize treatments, and gather data to convince insurers that a therapeutic or procedure is worth covering, among other uses.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment

There was an error saving your display name. Please check and try again.